One of the most improved players in spring camp for the Gophers is junior safety Jacob Huff. He's the twin brother of linebacker Julian Huff, who has been a more prominent name for Gophers fans, with six tackles for a loss over the past two years.
The Gophers need to replace stalwart safety Damarius Travis but have freshman All-American Antoine Winfield Jr., to fill one of those spots. If Jacob Huff and Duke McGhee continue progressing, it would give the coaches the flexibility to use Winfield more in a nickel role, taking advantage of his outstanding coverage skills.
Jacob Huff had another good day of practice Tuesday. He picked off Demry Croft on one throw in the 7-on-7 drill and returned it for a touchdown.
After practice, coach P.J. Fleck was asked what he saw, in general, that he liked throughout the day? Fleck's first answer of the day steered right toward No. 17.
"I like Jacob Huff," Fleck said. "All he does is make plays. This was our ninth practice, and every single play that kid has made -- an interception, he’s knocked down the ball -- his hands are around the football. He’s instinctive, he’s smart, It’s important to him.
"We talk about all four areas of life being important to you -- academically, athletically, socially, spiritually -- and all four areas are important to that kid. And he makes everybody else around him better. That’s what I loved. I loved seeing that. That makes me know that the culture continues to grow inside guys when that happens."